Forgotten Book: Flash Casey…Detective by George Harmon Coxe

this is the 256th in my series of forgotten or seldom read books

Flash Casey…Detective by George Harmon Coxe, Avon Book Company, 1946. Murder Mystery Monthly # 36. Mystery short story collection
[This copy was loaned to me by Dave Lewis]

Flash Casey…Detective contains four stories, “Women Are Trouble” (1935), “Too Many Wonen” (1936), “Casey–Detective” (1935) and “Once Around the Clock” (1941). The stories range from 30 to 50 pages each. All were originally published in Black Mask magazine.

I had previously read two stories featuring this character in Black Mask anthologies, one of them is included here; the other three of these stories were new to me, and boy, did I enjoy them!

Jack “Flashgun” (or just “Flash”) Casey is the number one camera for The Express, a Boston area newspaper in the Thirties.  In each story he gets tangled up with a crime because he’s taken a photograph that someone – besides his editor – wants because it could be incriminating. This means Casey gets beat up, kidnapped, waylaid, framed or worse. But Casey is tough, smart and clever, and he finds his way out of trouble to a satisfying ending.

Coxe started writing around 1922, initially working as a newspaperman and sending his stories to cheap pulp magazines. He wasn’t particular about the type of story or magazine, as long as it paid, but he was especially fond of crime fiction and soon made it his specialty.

His series characters in the mystery genre are Jack “Flashgun” Casey, Kent Murdock, Leon Morley, Sam Crombie, Max Hale and Jack Fenner. Casey and Murdock are both photographer-detectives. Coxe wrote a total of 63 novels, the last being published in 1975. He was named a Grand Master in 1964 by The Mystery Writers of America.

Now that I’ve read six Flash Casey short stories, I’m interested in trying one of the novels. Lucky for me I have one in hand, also a loan. For those wanting to try this or another Casey story or novel, Mysterious Press has reprinted many of Coxe’s works in recent years.

About Richard Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
This entry was posted in Books & Reading, Friday Forgotten Books, Mystery. Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Forgotten Book: Flash Casey…Detective by George Harmon Coxe

  1. realthog says:

    This sounds splendid — I’ll look out for George Harmon Coxe’s works. Many thanks!

  2. Jeff Meyerson says:

    Nice. I’ve read a few Coxe stories in anthologies. When I first started reading mysteries in the ’70s, Coxe was still around and writing.

  3. Evan Lewis says:

    Jeez, that look pretty good. I should read it again.

  4. Never even heard of these. Cool. I like discovering stuff like that

  5. Barry Ergang says:

    Haven’t read any of the short stories–at least, none I can recall offhand–but did read one of the Casey novels many years ago. I’ve also read several of the Murdock novels and enjoyed them.

  6. Steve Lewis says:

    Good to know that you enjoyed this one. Coxe needs a bit of a revival. I’ve been fan of his for a long time, starting in the 50s when I joined the Dollar Mystery Guild book club. The Casey stories were certainly pulpier than the Murdock ones, just as you say.

  7. If reading Perry Mason novels are like eating potato chips, reading Casey stories falls into the same category. Fun reading!

  8. Yvette says:

    Ooooh, these sound pretty good, Rick. I don’t think I’ve ever read anything by this author. I’ll look around for some Flash. 🙂

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